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Hair washing following the curly method
The discovery of soap dates back to many centuries ago and it is easy to see that it was also used to wash hair, as well as the body. With the flowering of civilization we have learned to dissolve that soap in water and add fragrant substances such as aromatic herbs, floral extracts and natural oils in order to make the hair shiny and fragrant, as well as clean.
With the advent of industry in the past century, we have seen the first generation of shampoos appear on the shelves of small stores before, and then in huge shopping centers, a vast assortment of products that massively replicate the same basic concept of the first shampoos of our human age, loose soap and perfuming substances.
For the past ten years, thanks to social media and the sharing of information and experiences, hair washing has turned into a routine whose base is the care of the hair, in our case in particular the curly one.
A care that must necessarily pass through the washing, you can't expect to have soft and hydrated hair by washing them with a soap for cloths that maybe contains caustic soda, a very effective ingredient but also very aggressive.
From the experience shared over the years, some producers decide to listen to the "wisdom" of the Curly people and from this moment comes to life what could be called the second generation of shampoos. A new generation of products with a slightly different formulation, designed in our case for the Curly Method.
But what are these different formulations? What really changes?
Let's talk first about sulfates. This category of sulfur-based compounds that are widely used in most shampoos is completely excluded from the shampoo ingredients suitable for the method.
Why are they excluded? They are not used because they are very effective but very aggressive surfactants, to the point that there are ingredients such as cocamidyol betaine, whose only function is to decrease the aggressiveness of sulphates present in a shampoo. Moreover they are connected to the phenomenon of acid rain and avoiding them certainly does not hurt the planet! The first reason however remains to be delicate with your own hair.
So in a shampoo suitable for the method like this we will not find sulfates but not even silicones or mineral oils, two other categories of ingredients that do not help the curly hair to express all its natural beauty. Both classes of ingredients are commonly found in many large retail shampoos. Their long-term use weighs down the hair, does not enhance the curl as well as not being easily washable except with sulphates, so the cycle is repeated endlessly and the hair never manages to regain its natural splendor.
The shampoos approved for the Curly method contain surfactants of multiple origins and are accumulated by being delicate surfactants, which respect hair and scalp.
To be more specific, most of the surfactants used in the products suitable for the method are usually cationic, amphoteric or non-ionic, all of which are actually less efficient in washing but certainly more delicate than the anionic counterpart.
Why are they less effective? Certainly because in the regular hair washing you do not always need a strong shampoo if the hair is not very dirty, as much as a product that gently washes and procures, through massaging and other secondary ingredients, well-being for the hair and scalp .
The 3 Curly Method techniques for washing hair
Let's go immediately to the practice. There are three categories of shampoo and therefore three techniques for washing curly hair, listed exactly like the product categories of Curly Selection.
The first category includes clarifying shampoos. They are suitable for infrequent, occasional washing. They are suitable for those occasions when the hair is dirtier; obviously there is not a temporal standard of use, but the frequency with which they are used depends on the biology of each of us, on the type of hedgehog, on the environment in which we live, on the activities that are performed and so on. To get a general idea we can take as a frequency of use between two weeks and one month.
In this shampoo category we can find some anionic surfactants (not sulphates), excellent for having a more intense cleansing effect than the following type of shampoo, or low-poo.
The term low-poo is used to indicate a weak shampoo with a low washing potential, yet sufficient to keep the hair clean in everyday life. The advantage of these products over clarifying shampoos is that they are enriched with moisturizing and emollient substances that dry the hair less, leaving it soft and hydrated. Low-poo formulations usually do not have anionic surfactants among their ingredients.
The last category of products is represented by the co-wash shampoos. This term is commonly used to identify a conditioning wash, that is a balm wash. The first idea from which this technique comes to life is that of the author Lorraine Massey, whose indications led to the adoption of the cowash from all over the Curly world.
This washing technique is the least effective from a washing point of view as you can already guess from the name, on the other hand it is also the most delicate and allows to obtain absolutely soft, velvety, hydrated and obviously perfumed hair!
Since it does not contain ingredients with a strong cleansing power, it is important to emphasize the importance of massaging the skin allowing the product to diffuse and penetrate for a sufficient time, usually 3-5 minutes are sufficient.
The same is true for rinsing, there is a need to remove all the excess product, massaging the skin for another 3-5 minutes. Taking the time for a correct application is important to get a good result.
Many people choose to alternate low-poo and co-wash in order to find the perfect balance in a routine suited to their type of hair and life, the co-wash guarantees maximum softness and the low poo prevents hair from being weighed down from using co-wash only.
Remember that in all three cases of washing, the hair must be rinsed thoroughly with care, do not underestimate the importance of this phase.
Here is a practical summary table:
Extra information on washing and porosity of the hair
On one hand, the cuticles of a low-porosity hair are more closed, which supposes that the products or the dirt accumulated inside the cuticles themselves will find it more difficult to come away than more open cuticles, prone to let the ingredients work detergents.
On the other hand, low porosity hair by nature has more negative electric charge, so products that normally contain positively charged substances are easier to adhere to, due to the better electrical affinity between hair (negative) and ingredient (positive).
To understand this, think about how a magnet works, the concept is very similar, but in the case of the magnet we talk about interactions between magnetic fields and in the case of our hair we talk about electricity, the opposite signs attract each other to form a stable electrical configuration.
This principle is used in shampoos, for example through the use of cationic quaternary compounds in the INCI.